Monday, June 05, 2006

PLoS One

There is an article in Wired about open access in scientific publishing. It focuses on the efforts of the Public library of Science (PLoS) to make content freely available by transferring the costs of publication to the authors. What actually caught my attention was this little paragraph:

The success of the top two PLoS journals has led to the birth of four more modest ones aimed at specific fields: clinical trials, computational biology, genetics, and pathogens. And this summer, Varmus and his colleagues will launch PLoS One, a paperless journal that will publish online any paper that evaluators deem “scientifically legitimate.” Each article will generate a thread for comment and review. Great papers will be recognized by the discussion they generate, and bad ones will fade away.

The emphasis is mine. I went snooping around for the upcoming PLoS One and I found a page to subscribe to a mailing list. It has curious banner with a subtitle of open access 2.0.

I found some links in the source code that got me to the prototype webpage. It sounds exactly like what a lot of people have been pushing for: rapid scientific communication, community peer reviewing, continuous revision of the paper (they call it interactive papers) and open access. This will be hard to implement but if successful it will do much to bring more transparency to the scientific process and increase the cooperation between scientist.

There is also something about the name PLoS ONE. They are really betting a lot on this launch if they are calling it ONE. It implicitly states that ONE will be the flagship of PLoS, where any paper (not just Biology) can be published.